Settling In

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Magnolia tree in our yard. We’re not in Rhode Island anymore.

June was a very exhausting and yes, stressful month. Part of me wishes I’d had time to update here, but there’s no way. I was posting to Instagram throughout the month, but then my cell phone up and died mid delivery of all our household goods, if you can believe it. Let me try to catch you up a bit.

After all the doctor’s appointments and end-of-school stuff, the kids, cat, and I got into the car last Monday for the drive down to our new home. My husband stayed behind for the pack-out and to close on our house (I’d signed a power of attorney so that we didn’t both have to knock around with the kids and cat). The drive was fairly easy, even through New York City. The cat never made a peep; he mostly dozed. The kids did great with minimal rest stops (only two! and none in New Jersey, thank goodness; the turnpike bathrooms are disgusting) in order to keep the cat’s time in his carrier as short as possible. I’m actually still amazed at how well our very old cat handled the long car ride and a new house.

The hardest part of the drive for me was the Bay Bridge. It’s very long, high, and narrow, with no shoulders. Middle child informed me I was both panting and whimpering. Mind you, though I’m not a fan of bridges, I drove just fine over the many and various bridges between Rhode Island and Annapolis. That one, though. Ugh.

We had to wait a couple of days for our household goods to arrive on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, the kids slept on the floor in sleeping bags and I used the one mattress in the house. The first thing we did Tuesday was get ourselves library cards. After that we went to Target and Whole Foods. All of these places are within about ten minutes of our house, but it took me about three hours to do those three errands. It’s exhausting, not knowing where anything is. It’s just so darn hard to get anything done.

Closing wasn’t until Thursday, so I also got to handle delivery of all our household goods by myself on Wednesday. It was a little overwhelming. Even with all the decluttering I did, we have a lot of stuff. Nothing brings that home like watching a crew of guys bring your stuff in for five hours. The only time I came close to crying the whole week was when my phone quit working halfway through delivery. It had landed face down on pavement Monday evening when an exuberant middle child launched himself into me, cracking the screen, and I guess it took two days for it to fully give up the ghost. With my husband’s help I was actually able to find an old phone in a box and get switched over so I at least had GPS and texting and email capabilities (although, heaven help us, not all at the same time).

I’ve never moved like this before–that is, with someone other than myself packing the boxes. Unpacking is like a treasure hunt, because while boxes are labeled with rooms and generalities (some crew members being more specific than others), I don’t really know what’s in each box. In previous moves, I knew exactly what to unpack to get to what I wanted. I tackled the kitchen and bathrooms and kids’ rooms first. My art room still looks roughly like this:

art room in boxes at

The light through the window is going to be awesome, by the way. But I’m waiting for a floor covering before I unpack and set up, because I don’t want to ruin the hardwoods, obviously. I’m getting a bit tetchy without this room set up–I’m hoping it’ll be sorted by the end of the long weekend.

I have managed to get the living room looking like a living room, for the most part.

living room window.

And my husband showed up late last Thursday night, which was a relief. Despite some last-minute drama, the house was sold. (I won’t get into it here. Just, sometimes, both parties feel good coming out of a closing. And sometimes, one party feels a bit bludgeoned. We felt bludgeoned.)

We’re chipping away at unpacking and governmental details (both our cars have Maryland plates! which was no small task) and getting to know the area. The kids can just hop on their bikes and go; the neighborhood is wonderful, and full of kids. I’ve been finding some good running routes, including right over the Naval Academy Bridge. We’re meeting our new neighbors and getting settled. Soon, hopefully, this space will return to being about art adventures and creative endeavors. I can’t wait.

5 thoughts on “Settling In

  1. karen

    I think the older we get the more difficult a move is. Our last move was 2005 and within the town but it was the first time we hired movers for our furniture (we slugged the boxes….). We happened to come down with the stomach flu the day the movers arrived. Thankfully my husband and I overlapped with symptoms and someone was able to function at a given time.

    My daughter came home from middle school and made us chicken noodle soup in the one pot she found and it was the BEST food I ever tasted…

    Good luck with unpacking and settling in. What a bummer about the phone.

  2. Victoria

    Overall, this sounds wonderful and I’m so happy for you!

    We will miss you when we’re in RI this summer. Every Christmas, I make a calendar for myself and various family members. I choose the photos for each month from those taken the same month in the year just passed. Yesterday I flipped to July, and one of the photos is of one of my kids and one of yours in the salt pond. 🙂

  3. Kerry

    Happy to see you beginning to settle in. It sounds like you hit the jackpot with the neighbors and I think your kids have an adventure filled summer ahead of them 🙂

  4. suburbancorrespondent

    Sounds as though you are settling in just fine! I hope you enjoy your 4th and find a good place to watch the fireworks. I’ve got some open weeks last week of July and first 2 of August, if you would like to get together somewhere out there – or else any week, any afternoon here at the pools is fine.

  5. Carolyn

    I’m glad you’re there finally and settling in. I always loved the settling in, finding new homes for my things and rearranging until I was happy. It’s probably why I want to move again! Closing can be ugly, we’ve been beaten one too many times. Does it look like this move will be permanent? I wish you great happiness in your new home!

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